Want to understand your body better? Homeostasis. Biology lesson 1!

Homeostasis is the very delicate and important interaction of 11 bodily systems that work constantly to help us maintain things such as sufficient hydration, appropriate blood sugar levels and correct body temperatures.

These 11 systems are the skeletal, muscular, digestive, respiratory, lymphatic, nervous, urinary, reproductive, cv and energy, integumentary and endocrine.

We can enhance the efficiency of these systems through regular exercise and good nutrition essentially helping us to live longer and happier lives!

(So when your getting into bad patterns of little or no exercise and eating processed foods, think of this… your body systems and if you would like them to work efficiently or not)?

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Are you ill? Treat the cause not just the symptoms!

So many people are on medications for all sorts of diseases (think about what this word means, dis-ease.. a body that is not at ease) and ailments and of course it’s necessary to treat the symptoms of problems but often people leave it at just that, mainly I believe because they don’t think that there is anything more they can do that will really make a difference.

I believe that lifestyle has a massive impact on human health and illness, from stress and bad sleep, lack of exercise and poor nutrition. All of these factors have a bigger impact on your health than you may know!

My dad has recently been taken into hospital after being extremely stressed through his job and trying to balance outer work commitments along side. On Saturday his body decided to give him a warning to slow down and make some changes by making him feel very ill. He is now in hospital with suspected pneumonia and has very low antibodies and is having more and more tests done every day. He told me that he notices that when he is stressed he also gets bad stomach acid which he has been given extra medication for. Both of us believe it is mainly stress related. I believe it is also with him suddenly stopping exercise, getting poor disrupted sleep and also poor nutritional habits that have all added up and hit him.

It’s so so important to look after your mind and body and listen to any warning signals that your body is giving you, we underestimate how intelligent our minds and bodies are and it’s a shame that more often than not we ignore the warning signs of bad lifestyle until it is so bad that we are desperate for change.

My dad is currently on medication but this should only be temporary, to help ease the symptoms. When he is out of hospital I am going to help him change his lifestyle so he can get back to good health.

If you are someone with any illnesses, research changes you can make to improve or even eliminate your problem.

Even making one small positive change in your lifestyle can make a difference over time!

Feel free to ask me any questions on anything health/lifestyle related as I love to help people in any way I can.

Please just eat a balanced natural diet!!!! Yes I’m shouting at everyone I can reach out to!

Omg I’m so frustrated with how the media and society have developed all of these stupid fads and diets that just make people ill!

If people want to lose weight or be healthy, it’s just a matter of eating a natural balanced diet and doing a mixture of resistance and CV exercise. It really is that simple!

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The nutrition is the most important part and as long as your eating naturally the majority of the time eg; Food from natural sources… eggs, fish, chicken, fruit, veg, nuts, seeds, pulses and then having ‘processed’ food which we have learnt to call ‘treats’ (ironic as when we eat them we are actually doing the opposite) every now and again then we should never need to worry about being overweight or having too much body fat again!

I admit I have been drawn onto one diet/fad before and this is the only one. It was on my personal training course as it was residential and we were all eating and living together and so influencing and motivating each other with being fit and healthy. I was not interested and quite reluctant to hear about it at first but eventually got drawn in and committed to the Paleo lifestyle for about a year. It was the first time I’d ever been drawn into a ‘diet or strict eating guide’… then after about a year I fell off the wagon and beat myself up for eating a few chocolate biscuits and really worry that it would affect my health! Over time and repetitions of this happening, I have now learnt it is unrealistic to eat naturally 100% of the time with an average lifestyle. Maybe it would be easy if we’d never been introduced to processed foods but that is not the world we live in. So now If I feel like a chocolate biscuit or some scones or macaroni cheese I’ll let myself have it as I know that If I put restrictions and limits on my eating I’ll only go and have a binge at a later stage plus I know how good I feel when eating naturally and so that will always be my foundation of eating.

I watch documentaries where people (mainly women and young girls) go on these diets trying to ‘lose weight’ and become obsessive about numbers and achieving certain dress sizes. Please if this is you… stop! There is another way. Let go of the numbers and go by how your body feels, not by what society dictates is right because every ‘body’ is different. I now go by my own goals for myself, as long as I can do the fitness I want to do without feeling too tired and as long as I look and feel healthy and keep my immune system strong and feel good about the way I look, not the way others expect me to look then I am happy.

The best way to live a healthy lifestyle if you’re someone that would really like to be healthy but really can’t find the motivation is to make the changes slowly, even if it’s one change a year such as going slowly from 2 sugars in tea to none (I did this over time, can’t remember how long it took me but I couldn’t put sugar in my tea again now as it tastes too sweet) but … seriously it will make a difference in your life!

Shouldn’t nutrition and exercise be about trying to live longer and feel alive with energy and radiance, not trying to look a certain way?

Sleep tips…(what has worked for me)

I think most of us would like to get more sleep or feel tired at the right times, fall asleep quicker and have more energy in the day.

Now with advances in technology and our busy lifestyles we upset out natural sleep cycles or as it is scientifically called our ‘circadian rhythm’ which is like a body clock that indicates when it’s time for sleep and time to wake up.

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Years ago we would naturally get tired when it got dark at sunset and wake at sunrise but now with lights from, laptops, phones and TV we confuse our bodies into thinking it’s still daytime at night hence not feeling tired or being able to fall asleep until late, plus it’s a bit unrealistic to sleep at 4 pm in the winter and wake at 5 am in the summer.

I have been testing out a few ways to get myself into a more natural and healthy sleep cycle so I don’t feel so tired throughout the day and can actually fall asleep when I go to bed, not lie there for hours wondering when I’m going to fall asleep! What I have been trying has really worked!

Here I will list some of things for you to try if you would like to do the same, maybe just one will work for you, maybe you will need to try them all….

  1. Turn off all technology and lights by 9 pm!
    Yes I also mean room lights too, what I do is make sure I’m dressed and ready for bed by 9 pm with teeth brushed and pyjamas on. Then I light some candles.
  2. Make your bedroom dark!
    I have a street lamp right outside my bedroom window that shines through my curtains even though they are lined. what I’ve been doing is putting a dark blanket over my net curtains behind my lined curtains blocking out the external light… soon I will get blinds and better lined curtains that block out light so I don’t have to keep doing this!
  3. Meditate!
    One of the main reasons I couldn’t sleep at night was because my mind was so active still, I always had so many thoughts rushing through my mind about what I’d done that day and what needed to be done the next day plus anything else that I felt anxious or worried about. Since using a guided audio meditation (Pod cast) and my scented candles, I have been sleeping literally as soon as my head hits the pillow which is amazing for me, plus I feel less anxious in general!
  4. No caffeine after 6 pm!
    I have stopped drinking tea after 6 pm and this seems to of helped me feel that little bit more tired at night and not so buzzing, instead I have been drinking camomile tea or a small cup of green and black’s cocoa with almond milk. Mmm
  5. No eating after 8 pm!
    Have you ever tried to sleep on a full stomach, ergh it feel horrible and I’m sure your body doesn’t like it either, in fact I know it doesn’t! Some people say no eating after 6 pm but that leaves me going to bed hungry which also stops me from going to sleep. Food stays in the stomach from 30 minutes to 2 hours before it goes into the small intestine. For myself I like to give myself at least 2 hours between my last meal and sleeping.
  6. Exercise!
    We all know the benefits of exercise.. better sleep is one of them. By getting sufficient exercise throughout the day we use energy that our bodies need to get rid of e.g calories from food. Lack of exercise leaves us feeling sluggish leading to a restless night sleep. Just make sure you don’t exercise in the evenings near to bedtime, you need to give your body enough time to relax so a good time would be after lunch and before dinner if possible. 

    Bonus tip: Write down or journal your thoughts, this helps to get stuff out of your mind and relax a bit more plus it’s amazing that sometimes when you actually start to write stuff down you realise a problem you thought was a problem actually isn’t, it’s either nothing to worry about because by writing it out you think of the solution or it’s actually something else that’s bothering you that becomes clear, resulting in understanding your problem/thoughts/feelings better!

    I tried all of these things at once and have now got into a nice routine I’m very happy with, I would say the most beneficial for myself is the meditation as it has affected and benefited how I feel in general too, hopefully some or even one of these tips can work for you! Let me know how it goes!

Did you know…(Calcium isn’t just for our bones)

Did you know, we not only need Calcium for our bones but for our muscles too…

Our muscles store Calcium and it is the regulation of calcium release that causes muscular contraction as it binds with a protein called Troponin.

So make sure you are getting enough Calcium in your daily nutrition especially if you are doing regular resistance exercise!

Top 5 foods that contain sources of Calcium are:

  1. Tinned fish e.g Sardines, Salmon, Mackeral
  2. Dark leafy greens e.g Kale, Spinach, Watercress
  3. Broccoli
  4. Dairy products e.g cheese, milk, yoghurt (as non processed as possible so full fat cheese, milk and natural or Greek yoghurt) Eat in small quantities.
  5. Soy milk or Tofu

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Which is your favourite source of calcium?

Natural night face oil

At this time of year (No I’m not going to break out into Craig Phillips Christmas song), in the UK you may feel your skin starts to become dryer and tighter. I have found a natural oil that is found in many a food cupboards that is a perfect remedy for this problem!

Olive Oil!

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Yes… around once a week or once every two weeks (when I remember really) I use this oil on my face. Now I know what some people may think ‘won’t this bring me out in spots, clog my pores and make my skin more oily’. My answer is no… as a past suffer of horrendous acne, oily skin and large pores I have tried and tested many things on my skin. If you have oily skin it is due to an imbalance in PH levels and is usually your skins way of telling you it is lacking in oil hence why it tries to produce more.

This always makes my skin look and feel better the next day. (by the way this wasn’t what cured my bad skin, good nutrition is what worked in the end after many years of trying things externally)

So what I do is pour a small amount of extra virgin olive oil into a dish and dab the oil onto my face using a cotton wool ball after washing my face with my natural tea tree soap…

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Then once my whole face is covered I blot my face with a tissue to take up the excess oil…

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I cover my pillow with a small towel so I don’t get oil on my pillow case and then wash my face like I usually do in the morning.

I find that my skin stays feeling soft and moisturised, my pores look smaller and a have a glow to my skin!